As I was wandering the streets of Paris in September, I noticed one after the other artsy drawing on the walls of old buildings, warehouses, and in small alleys. Not knowing what it was or by whom, it got me curious and I felt I had to photograph each drawing I saw. Back home I did some research on the internet to find out it is street art by Fred Le Chevalier. The whole city is covered in it! So next time when you are in Paris, take note and it is very likely you will see his art everywhere. [continue reading after photos]
One of my fellow bloggers Fernanda, who writes the blog My Life on my Bike, had the honour to interview Fred Le Chevalier and agreed to share it:
Fred Le Chevalier started to draw when he was a child and stopped as a teenager. Seven years ago,he started again. At the beginning, he used to upload his drawings on MySpace, also presenting them to people around who appreciate the work. With a positive feedback, three years ago he got the confidence to stick them on the streets.
“The first stick was for a woman that I used to love. It was a present for her. At that time, I didn’t realize that I could do it so often”, he said.
When young, he found influence on the work of Ernest Pignon-Ernest and on the punk movement, that represented freedom to be and do whatever you want.
In love for literature as Alexandre Dumas and Don Quixote, he explained to me where the name Fred Le Chevalier comes from: “I used to take care of a young baby and I had to gave names for his family, so I chose one beautiful name for me, Fred Le Chevalier (Fred The Knight)”.
Three times a week, during the day, Fred walks around the city to stick art. He doesn’t know exactly how many drawings he’s already stuck but he estimates around 2 or 3 thousand works. “We walk very fast in Paris, we have many things to do, we don’t have time, but sometimes when you see something on the wall you can stop for 1 second or for 10 seconds and slow down.”
I asked him to describe his work, that is about his alter ego, as all his characters come from his feelings:
“It’s not easy to explain. But what I like about my work is that people can create their own meaning. I like when people appropriate my drawings and recount their stories with their own imagination. I like sweet things that come from the infancy to the adult age connected with the dream realm and tales. Sometimes are sweet emotions about love, but sometimes are hard emotions. My characters never are adult or child, man or woman, it’s always a mix. I try to do things that are optimistic. I’m not interested to make a provocative work. I like mixing poetry with street art. I really enjoy when people tell me that my work makes them remember their childhood or for instance a mother that already passed away. When people take ownership of my work, this is what gives me pleasure.”
To see more of Fred le Chevaliers work and to read the whole interview click here.